Three teens facing arson charges

January 29, 1998


Staff Writer, Chambersburg

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Three people were in Franklin County Prison Thursday on charges stemming from a string of arsons dating back to September, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

Two 19-year-old Chambersburg men and an 18-year-old St. Thomas, Pa., woman face charges of arson, burglary, theft and criminal mischief for several incidents.

The fires from which the charges stem include a Sept. 24, 1997, blaze that destroyed a storage building in Mercersburg, Pa., and a Jan. 12 fire that destroyed a building at Williamson Scuba Club, said Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal Skip Sydnor.


The 26-unit Gift Storage building at 3506 Mercersburg Road was built less than a year before a fire destroyed it and its contents. It took firefighters from four departments more than five hours to put out the 3:14 a.m. blaze at the 40-foot-by-120-foot, wood-framed building with siding.

A firefighter suffered a dislocated thumb, but there were no other injuries.

Scuba diving equipment was stolen from Williamson Scuba Club on Pa. 995 before a building that housed an office and classroom was set on fire. Loss from the fire, burglary and theft was estimated at $50,000, according to Sydnor.

Other incidents include:

* Nov. 11 - A vehicle that was broken down on U.S. 30 about a half mile west of Pa. 995 in Hamilton Township was destroyed by a fire.

* Dec. 18 - A 1982 Chevrolet pickup truck was stolen, set on fire, then crashed into Brandt's Church of the Brethren in St. Thomas, damaging the building. Criminal mischief charges have been filed in relation to several mailboxes and stop signs that were smashed.

* Jan. 14 - A barn filled with hay in Greene Township at the intersection of Salem Road and Letterkenny Road was destroyed by a fire. Damages were estimated at $50,000.

The following incidents occurred on Saturday:

* A truck parked at American Stair Products Inc. at 9523 Lincoln Way West in St. Thomas sustained major damage from a fire.

* Keys to a motor home were stolen from Checkered Flag Lube at U.S. 30 and Pa. 416 in St. Thomas. The motor home was then driven to an apple orchard and set on fire, resulting in major damage.

* Living quarters at a workers' camp at Mt. Brook Orchard in St. Thomas were set on fire.

* Windows were smashed and tires slashed on a vehicle parked at E.C. Barnes at Pa. 416 and U.S. 30 in St. Thomas.

* A vehicle was stolen from 4513 Lemar Road in Lemasters, Pa., and destroyed by fire. The radio and speakers from the vehicle were stolen.

* A vehicle was stolen from Wanda's Furniture on Lincoln Way West in St. Thomas and taken to the Edenville quarry, where it was set on fire and destroyed.

* A radio was stolen from a vehicle parked at 4524 Lemar Road in Lemasters, Pa.

Charges have been filed in the theft and burning of approximately six other vehicles over the past six months, according to Sydnor.

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